My elementary school was literally in the backyard of Martin Luther King Jr.’s birth home. Okay. Not exactly in the yard where they might have had family barbecues but right behind it and about 1½ blocks from Ebenezer Baptist Church. I grew up surrounded by powerful symbols of the civil rights movement with parents who gave me the message to make the world better and fight for what’s right and just and fair. And of course, do unto others as you would have them do unto you was a common refrain. I was steeped in the spirit of reciprocity before I knew the word. The unspoken yet clear message was leave the world better than it was before I was born and to uplift humanity. Doing good continues to be a source of satisfaction and fulfillment for me. As a teacher, I’ve come to know that I learn as much as I teach. My students’ questions make me better at finding answers. I’m under no illusion that I’m the one with all the knowledge in the classroom. Rather, we’re in a dynamic relationship that’s nurtured and sustained by our mutual investment in the work of learning and growing. Everyone in the room reaps the dividends of our shared investment. That’s how reciprocity works. You give and you receive, simultaneously. Our willingness to share what we have is a seed that grows into our harvest. Here are three inspirations, motivations and quotations to help you step into the unending cycle of giving and receiving.
What you seek is seeking you. ~ Rumi
Imagine that. Your desires are looking for you as much as you are looking for them. You want to fulfill them and they want to be fulfilled. Your prayers want to become your reality as much as you want to manifest them. The Yoruba sacred text, Otura Ogbe, teaches that the divine forces wish you well and are praying for you. Imagine that. All that is good and divine in the Universe wishes you well and prays for you. You are in an ongoing relationship with the Universe. You give. It receives and gives back. It’s the brilliance of reciprocity in action. Your thoughts and desires are your daily offering to the Universe. Offer good, positivity, blessings and the Universe will return amazing gifts. Feel the power of the divine supporting you and OPEN TO YOUR TREASURES.
“Count your blessings”. If you didn’t hear this from your parents and grandparents, you probably heard it from another elder. Or perhaps, you’ve been at a dinner table where children who didn’t want to eat their broccoli or beets or collards or carrots were told to be thankful that they have food because there were people starving in some part of the world. Somewhere in our lives, someone told us to be grateful for what we have. Believe it or not science has caught up with this conventional and spiritual wisdom. Research shows that gratitude is associated with all kinds of goodies including better emotional and physical well-being. In recognizing the good around you, you become a magnet for more good. Realize what you’ve received and more will be given to you. Gratitude opens our hearts to the fact that reciprocity works both ways. GIVE AND YOU RECEIVE. RECEIVE AND MORE WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU.
Let your life outlive you ~ Dr. Sandra Y. Lewis
I recently heard Deepak Chopra say, “There are no spare parts in the Universe”. Each of us has some special gift, talent, mission, or skill that’s unique to us. We have a purpose that only we can fulfill. The world needs us to be who we came to be so that all beings can benefit from the good we bring to the world. The Yoruba sacred text says that to create good in our world, we need love of doing good for all people, especially those in need & those who seek assistance from us. We need eagerness to increase good in the world and not let any good at all be lost. So, get excited about what you have to offer. When we invest our talents and fulfill our purpose, we get a better world. Reciprocity is a law of nature. The good work we do has an infinite lifetime. LET YOUR LIFE OUTLIVE YOU.
© Sandra Y. Lewis